Crisp defense, solid pitching, and one timely hit made the difference in the South-West Conference tournament opener for Newtown High School’s softball team. The fifth-seeded Nighthawks pulled out a 1-0 nail-biter over host Pomperaug, the tourney’s fourth seed, in their quarterfinal round game on Memorial Day, May 26. The contest, originally scheduled for May 24, was postponed due to wet field conditions. The change set up a back-to-back game day scenario for the winner with a May 27 semifinal clash against top-seeded Lauralton Hall of Milford (4 pm at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield).
Tournament on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25, and girls and boys from town brought home several trophies for their success on the pitch. Newtown entered 16 teams and had nine division winners and a trio of second-place finishers. The tournament brought 126 teams (nearly 2,000 players) and 100 or so coaches to fields throughout town.
Newtown High School’s baseball team reeled off six straight wins heading into the May 20 regular-season finale with Notre Dame-Fairfield. The Nighthawks lost a tough 3-2, nine-inning decision to the host Lancers, but are hopeful their recent winning ways spill over into the postseason. The Nighthawks will have a chance to avenge that setback in the first round of the South-West Conference playoffs. Newtown is scheduled to visit Notre Dame in the tournament quarterfinals at 1 pm on Saturday, May 24. The Nighthawks are the fifth seed and Notre Dame is the No. 4 team in the bracket.
Newtown High School’s softball team closed out the regular season with seven wins in its final eight contests — the only blemish an 8-1 setback to unbeaten-in-the-South-West Conference Lauralton Hall of Milford on May 15. This past week was highlighted by a pair of lopsided wins. The Nighthawks toppled Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport 11-3 at Treadwell Park on May 19, and finished off the regular slate with a 21-0 win at Notre Dame-Fairfield on May 20.
The postseason felt like it started a little early for members of Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team, as they tangled in an inter-conference battle with the FCIAC’s Staples of Westport squad at Blue & Gold Stadium on May 15. Despite coming up a goal short, falling 5-4, the team enters into the actual postseason with reason for optimism. Not only did the Nighthawks rebound for a win over fellow South-West Conference team Brookfield on May 20, but they had reason to be confident following that Staples game.
Throughout the years, Newtown High School’s girls’ lacrosse team has simply dominated its South-West Conference competition en route to nine straight conference titles. This year, the team endured more losses to its SWC counterparts (two) than it did in the previous six-plus seasons. A year ago, New Fairfield ended the Nighthawks’ long run of unblemished success against their conference rivals with a win in the regular campaign, but that didn’t stop Newtown from keeping hold of its crown. This season, Brookfield and Joel Barlow of Redding found ways to beat the Nighthawks.
Newtown High School’s girls’ track and field team capped off an undefeated regular season (15-0) with a 106-44 win over Bethel, a 116-34 triumph over New Milford, and a 120-30 victory over Masuk of Monroe on Senior Night at Blue & Gold Stadium on May 19.
Newtown High School’s boys’ golf team capped off a 15-1 season with a win over visiting Masuk of Monroe at Rock Ridge Country Club on May 21. The Nighthawks shot a 154 and Masuk had a 170 at the par 35 course. That capped a successful week for Newtown, which also defeated Brookfield on May 14, topped New Fairfield on May 19, and beat Weston on May 20.
There’s no question, coaches coach to win. They drive their players to maximize their abilities, push them to do better — and, yes, sometimes yell at them to fix their mistakes. Winning is one of the driving forces behind involvement in sports in general.